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A Strange Disappearance

9. A Few Golden Hairs
When a few days from that I made my appearance before Mr. Gryce, it was to
find him looking somewhat sober. "Those Schoenmakers," said he, "are making
a deal of trouble. It seems they escaped the fellows up north and are now
somewhere in this city, but where--"
An expressive gesture finished the sentence.
"Is that so?" exclaimed I. "Then we are sure to nab them. Given time and a pair
of low, restless German thieves, I will wager anything, our hands will be upon
them before the month is over. I only hope, when we do come across them, it will
not be to find their betters too much mixed up with their devilish practices." And I
related to him what Fanny had told me a few evenings before.
"The coil is tightening," said he. "What the end will be I don't know. Crime, said
she? I wish I knew in what blind hole of the earth that girl we are after lies
hidden."
As if in answer to this wish the door opened and one of our men came in with a
letter in his hand. "Ha!" exclaimed Mr. Gryce, after he had perused it, "look at
that."
I took the letter from his hand and read:
The dead body of a girl such as you describe was found in the East river off
Fiftieth Street this morning. From appearance has been dead some time. Have
telegraphed to Police Headquarters for orders. Should you wish to see the body
before it is removed to the Morgue or otherwise disturbed, please hasten to Pier
48 E. R. GRAHAM.
"Come," said I, "let's go and see for ourselves. If it should be the one--"
"The dinner party proposed by Mr. Blake for to-night, may have its interruptions,"
he remarked.
I do not wish to make my story any longer than is necessary, but I must say that
when in an hour or so later, I stood with Mr. Gryce before the unconscious form
of that poor drowned girl I felt an unusual degree of awe stealing over me: there
was so much mystery connected with this affair, and the parties implicated were
of such standing and repute.
I almost dreaded to see the covering removed from her face lest I should behold,
what? I could not have told if I had tried.
"A trim made body enough," cried the official in charge as Mr. Gryce lifted an end
of the cloth that enveloped her and threw it back. "Pity the features are not better
preserved."
"No need for us to see the features," exclaimed I, pointing to the locks of golden
red hair that hung in tangled masses about her. "The hair is enough; she is not
the one." And I turned aside, asking myself if it was relief I felt.
To my surprise Mr. Gryce did not follow.
"Tall, thin, white face, black eyes." I heard him whisper to himself. "It is a pity the
features are not better preserved."
"But," said I, taking him by the arm, "Fanny spoke particularly of her hair being
black, while this girl's--Good heavens!" I suddenly ejaculated as I looked again at
 
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